Monday, April 23, 2012

Jonathan Edwards on Resurrection

“Redemption is not complete till the resurrection, not only with respect to the positive good and happiness that is obtained, but also with respect to what they are redeemed and delivered from. So long as the separation between soul and body remains, one of those evils remains that is part of the penalty of the law; one of our enemies remains. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. Death and hades, or a state of separation, are two evils that shall be at the last day cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). To be without the body is in itself an evil, because 'tis a want of that which the soul of man naturally inclines to and desires. And though it causes no uneasiness in the departed spirits of the saints, it is not because they don't want it, but because their certain hope and clear prospect of it, and apprehension how much it will be best for them, and most for their happiness to receive it in the time that God's wisdom determines, satisfies them till that time and is a full remedy against all uneasiness; and they perfectly rest in the hope and prospect and trust in God that they have. There is something that they still want, and their rest and satisfaction is not a rest of enjoyment, but a rest of perfect and glorious trust and hope.”

Thus wrote Jonathan Edwards, when reflecting on the wonderful Christian hope. He suggests that because being without a body is in itself an evil, our salvation will only be complete when the Lord gives us a new body. Contemporary Christians sometimes overlook this important aspect, focusing exclusively on the salvation of the soul. Some Christian writers have even gone so far as to suggest that our spirits will never be reunited with our body, but that we will be non-corporeal throughout all of eternity.

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